Thursday, 28 April 2011

Proposals from 'Left Unity in Aotearoa' meeting

The 'Left Unity in Aotearoa' meeting that was part of Socialist Worker's national conference agreed to present the following proposals for wider discussion amongst NZ eco-leftists:

1) Climate Change/Social Change conference in New Zealand in early 2012

The 'Left Unity in Aotearoa' meeting agreed to support the call made by Sue Bradford on her Facebook page for NZ activists to attend the Climate Change/Social Change conference in Melbourne (30 Sept - 3 October). And that activists in this country should look to cooperate around organising a New Zealand 'Climate Change/Social Change' conference in early 2012. 

David Colyer was nominated by the meeting to liaise with other eco-leftists about organising a 'Climate Change/Social Change' conference on this side of the Tasman.

2) Supporting left parties for the 2011 General Election

Two proposals for how the left should relate to the 2011 General Election were voiced at the meeting. It was agreed that both these proposals should be presented for discussion amongst New Zealand eco-leftists (NOTE: no decision was made by the meeting to support one or other of the proposals). They are:

a) From Peter Hughes:

“For the 2011 General Election eco-leftists support the Green Party or the Mana Party for the party list vote, the Mana Party on the Maori roll, and the best left candidate in each electorate.”

b) From Bob van Ruyssevelt:

A New Left Party? An invitation. Click the link to read Bob's proposal. 

If you have some thoughts on these proposals, make a comment below. Or forward a longer contribution to and we'll post them up on UNITYblog.

In solidarity,

Vaughan Gunson
Chair of 'Left Unity in Aotearoa' meeting, 23 April 2011


Vaughan said...

From John Robinson: "Can I say this as simply as possibly. Flying creates huge amounts of greenhouse gases and the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets are moving into the sea threatening rapid sea level rise. Flying uses up lots of valuable oil, and the world is 6 years into the oil peak/plateau. DON'T fly unless it is absolutely necessary. A call for "activists" to go off to Australia for a conference is ignorant and ill-advised. It is WRONG.

Why on earth can't people understand the very basics of the current situation and act to REDUCE greenhouse gas emissions and burning of fossil fuels in any way possible?"

Doloras LaPicho said...

John, I don't have a car. Does that give me enough carbon credits that I can take one plane trip a year?

Seriously, this moralistic position will not only convert no-one but is an example of blaming the victim. Especially in New Zealand, what it means is "never leave the country again" (unless you can afford your own ocean-going yacht?)

It's not consumer travel which is responsible for the overwhelming majority of emissions, but factory production and power generation. For an individual to make a moral decision to never take air travel again will do nothing but make an individual feel better.

That said, hopefully advances in teleconferencing in future will minimise the need for long-distance travel to keep our side in touch with one another on a global basis.